An American Icon: The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 was finally revealed this week at the Detroit Auto Show. For over 60 years, the Corvette has held a special place in the hearts of auto enthusiasts and speed demons all over the world. The first model of this iconic sports car launched in 1953 with a 155HP engine and there were only 300 in production. 60 years later and 6 generations later, Chevy blew everyone away with the 2013 ZR1 which boasted an incredible 638HP engine, a digitized interior, and a slick exterior that truly embodied the spirit of the American classic. With its track record, Chevy has shown us that every generation of Corvette not only builds upon its predecessor’s reputation of beauty, power, and speed, but that GM is dead set on realizing its vision of the ultimate sports car through constant refinement of an award winning formula.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 is a supercharged monster which proves that Chevy still has their eyes on that target and don’t intend to stop working towards it any time soon. If the car displayed by GM at the Detroit Auto Show is anything to go by, then it really looks like this car will live up to its predecessors by bringing together a perfect blend of style and speed. With the Z06, GM has introduced some significant changes to the Corvette’s performance, exterior, and interior. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the latest rendition of this automotive beast.

9 Engine

The biggest change from the 2014 Stringray comes to the car’s engine. The 450HP LT1 naturally aspirated engine from the 2014 Stingray has now been swapped for a 6.2 liter LT4 V8 engine which is boosted with a 1.7L Eaton Supercharger. As if last year’s 460HP monster was not enough, the 2015 Corvette Z06 packs an even heftier punch with over 625HP. Thanks to the supercharger, the car now revs up to a staggering 20,000 rpms. That's 5,000 more than the ZR1.

8 Transmission

Buyers of the Z06 can choose between a seven-speed manual gear box and, for the first time ever in the history of the Z06 line, a brand new 8L90 eight-speed automatic paddle-shift transmission. The introduction of an automatic transmission makes the 2015 Z06 not only the first Z06 model to feature one, but also the first car over 600HP to feature an automatic transmission at all. According to Chevy engineers, the Z06's automatic transmission acts incredibly fast, and is capable of outperforming the dual-clutch system found in the Porsche 911.

7 The Z07 Performance Package

Chevrolet have also broken new ground in the company’s history by introducing a Z07 performance package for the Z06. Along with some aerodynamic enhancements to the exterior, this package gives the car Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, larger wheels, and Michelin Supersports Cup Tires. All in all, these aerodynamic, braking, and steering enhancements will bring a significant performance boost to the Z06 which will purportedly give even the ground-breaking ZR1 a run for its money.

6 Exterior and Aerodynamics

The 2015 Z06 retains the sleek and sexy visual style of last year’s Stringray, while offering buyers a choice between three aerodynamic packages. The base aero package includes a carbon-fiber vented hood, a front splitter, front wheel spats, and the Stringray Z51 Performance Pack rear spoiler. The Carbon-Fiber Aero Package will give buyers rocker panels, a front splitter with winglets, and a larger rear spoiler, all in a choice of either painted or unpainted carbon fiber. The aforementioned Z07 package will increase the size of the front splitter winglets, and introduce an adjustable center to the rear spoiler. All three exterior packages incoporate air blades over the rear fender inlets. With all of these aerodynamic enhancements, the 2015 Z06 will see a 50% increase of air-intake to its transmission and differential, when compared to the Stringray.

5 Interior

While the interior is almost identical to last year’s model, the 2015 Z06 does include features that any sports car enthusiast will appreciate. More specifically, it will feature a flat-bottomed steering wheel, some unique interior color schemes, and a choice of either GT or Competition Sports Seats. Buyers will also be offered a choice between Napa leather, aluminum, carbon-fiber, or micro-suede surfaces for the car’s interior.

4 Chassis

Sporting a strong aluminum frame, the Z06 has 60% greater structural rigidity than the 2014 Stingray. It will still include a removable roof panel for those breezy summer days. Amazingly however, taking it off will only lead to a 40% drop in rigidity, still keeping it a substantial 20% over last year’s model.

3 Telemetry

The Z06 will be purchasable with the newly introduced Performance Data Recorder. Designed in collaboration with Cosworth, the PDR can capture telemetric data and display it through an 8-inch 720p display in the car’s dashboard. Laps can also be recorded and replayed either in the car, or at the comfort of your own home using the included Cosworth Toolbox software on your desktop computer. The Performance Data Recorder will be a must-buy for those who plan on taking their Z06 to the track and sharpening their driving skills over the weekend.

2 Drive Customization

Drivers will be able to tailor the Z06 to their needs with a custom Driver Mode Selector which lets them adjust various car settings like Launch Control, StabiliTrak Active handling, Traction Control, Performance Traction Management, and the car's Electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD). With so much to mess around with, there's no doubt that driving the Z06 is going to be a highly personalized experience.

1 Coming in 2015

Overall, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 looks like it is going to be an absolutely phenomenal car to drive both on the track and on the road. Although GM hasn’t given us any performance data, the Z06’s specifications, as they stand currently, reveal a car that’s going to be just as powerful as it is sexy. GM has yet to reveal details on the Z06’s pricing. The cost of the optional Z07 sports package or any of the other sports/aero packages hasn't been revealed either. We’ll just have to wait and find out how much this beauty will cost when it speeds its way into showrooms sometime in early 2015.

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